Main Courses


Honey Soy Chicken Tights
Cooking Time: 60 Minutes   Makes 6 servings

So, I am trying to come back to my "regular life" which is not as easy as it sounds. We had a mega rainy Spring which gave us a Mega Clean up in the garden, plus some issues with my health, plus the current wife who is always a workload.

I don't think I can post as  regular as I did before (I know...) but at least I am back. Summer is great for me because I can cook with more time as the lucky one is the one that works (in the mines..) all day long.

This is a super easy recipe to cook with a 100% success rate. Somehow people nowadays just don't eat tons of great food that is available to us so the price is quite economic and the quality is great. That is the case for chicken tights...can not get another part of a chicken for that price...

You prepare in the morning...allow it to seat in the fridge until one hour prior to dinner time. Then just put it in the oven and 45 minutes later you have a great dinner. I did this batch this week and I cooked some parmesan potatoes to accompany...it was fantastic!!!


Ingredients

2 1/2 Lb Organic skin & boneless chicken thighs 

3 Tbsp Olive oil

1/2 Tsp Chopped ginger

5 Tbsp raw honey

3 Tbsp Soy sauce

4 Cloves of garlic, minced

- salt to taste

- fresh parsley, chopped for garnish


Cooking Instructions
1 In a mixing bowl combine olive oil, ginger, honey, soy sauce, garlic, and salt

2 Rinse and trim off all of the fat from the chicken, then place it in the bowl with the marinade. Allow it to rest for 1 hour or so (the longer the better).

3 Preheat the oven to 425F when ready to start the final stage. 


4 Place chicken thighs and marinade on a cast iron or baking dish and bake for 45 minutes, make sure to flip the chicken on the other side few times, that way the chicken will be juicy & tender without dry top.

5 Garnish with chopped parsley, serve with rice or mashed potato, and make sure to pour the sauce over the chicken when serving.


La pasta ńcasiata´ di Montalbano (Baked Eggplant on Tomato Sauce)


Cooking Time: 45 Minutes   Makes 4 servings
Ingredients

2 Eggplants

Water 


1 Tbsp Salt 

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

500 g Maccheroncini or Macaroni pasta as dictated by tradition from Messina.

200 g Stewed Tomatoes 

1/2 Onion sliced

Basil

Oregano

5 slices Bacon -optional-

 250 g Mozzarella cheese cubed

200 g of Parmesan cheese, grated



Cooking Instructions

1. Cut the eggplant into cubes (about 1”  inch) and put the cubes in salt water in a colander and leave  for about 50/60 minutes.

2. Rinse in water the eggplant cubes to remove excess salt and dry them by putting them in a cloth. Leave them to dry for about 1/2 hour to get them a bit dry.

3.  In a medium size pan, on medium heat, put the 2 tbsp of olive oil to fry them. When they look a bit brown (light brown!) place the egg plant on a paper towel to get rid of the excess oil -NOTE: the egg plant will absorb quite a bit of the olive oil so leave it on the paper towels for a while, otherwise the dish will be greasy-. Reserve

4. Now, let’s prepare the tomato sauce: In a medium size pan, medium heat, caramelize the onion until it gets a bit translucent, add the stewed tomatoes (I used a can of stewed tomatoes as the tomato season is gone) , the basil and the oregano to taste and lower the heat to simmer. Cover and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

5. While the tomato sauce cooks, let’s prepare the bacon, if you decided to use it -not in the original recipe from way back , though- to leave it crispy. Place in paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Reserve

6. To save you time, while the sauce is simmering, in a large pot with boiling water cook the pasta (I never add salt nor olive oil to the pot where I cook the pasta…). Cook until is al dente, drain and reserve.

7. Time to put it all together: pour the pasta in a large bowl, add the mozzarella cheese and 100 grams of grated parmesan cheese, the cubed eggplant and the bacon. Add the sauce and mix until everything is incorporated. The idea here is to allow the cheeses to melt on the warm tomato sauce. This is not a layered pasta dish: all must be combined before the final step.

REMEMBER that the dish 'ncasciata has a single layer - is what differentiates it from the traditional Italian oven baked pasta - so the first step is to cook the entire mixture in a bowl and not doing layers.

8. Turn on the oven to 360ºF


9. Final stage: put the ‘ncasciata dish mix into a cast iron pan (or a dutch oven), top it with the other 100 grams of grated parmesan cheese (we want a crust) and bake for15 minutes. Once it looks “crusty” then the dish is ready to be eaten right away.

10. Enjoy!

*According to tradition, the 'ncasciata is baked  directly in the pot with a layer of embers underneath and another layer on top of the lid. If you feel mega traditional go for it…I use the oven. Actually ‘ncasciata means “encased”

This is where the dish takes its name: the cooking on coal embers  is one of many the traditional Sicilian ways of preparing pasta. In this case the name comes from 'u ncaçio’ (in embers)

Scalloped Potatoes Layered with Anchovies
I have to admit. I am not a root vegetable kind of guy, probably because I don't know much about them nor I have eaten them frequently. In Mexico we really don't eat that many root veggies because of the climate. Pretty much we can eat the same food year round because climate wise it is paradise. Here is different. Summer time is warm and Winter is cold and each comes with a different variety of fruits and vegetables and obviously people have learned to cook whit what they got.

The current wife likes root vegetables and gave me this book called Down to Earth (Georgeanne Brennan) and I decided to give it a try by doing a recipe that I knew I would love. Scalloped potatoes are fantastic and this recipe just makes them way (WAY) better. I prepared them with nothing else to eat but that and, believe me, it is plenty. It really doesn't need anything else buy I'm sure that can be a side dish too.  We ate them and we had leftovers for another day (plus two lunches for the current wife). Try them, you'll see. Honestly a fantastic recipe. Soon, I'll try another one.



Scalloped Potatoes Layered with Anchovies

Cooking Time: 60 Minutes   Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

1 Tbsp Butter

6 Medium sized potatoes (Yukon Gold or similar) about 2 1/2 Lb

2 Large white onions (yellow preferable)

6 Anchovy fillets in Olive oil, cut into 1/2  inch or so. Keep the oil!


2 Tbsp Fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream

- The oil of the anchovies

- Parmesan cheese 


Cooking Instructions

1. Peel and then cut lengthwise the potatoes, French style (like French fries) into batons 1/2 inch thick and slice the onions into rounds about 1/4 of n inch thick and reserve. 

2. Preheat the oven to 350˚F 

3. Butter a 2 quart (medium size) baking dish that has a lid (I used my Dutch oven).

4. Arrange 1/3 of the potatoes in a layer at the bottom of the buttered dish and scatter 1/2 of the anchovies and 1/2 of the rosemary (remember to keep the oil!). 

5. Now, top with a layer of onions and add some of the rosemary.

6. Add the second layer of potatoes, then the anchovies and then the rosemary and repeat the layering until the upper layer are the potatoes.

7. In a medium size bowl mix the anchovy oil with the cream and pour over the potatoes. Cover with the lid (must be tight, otherwise also use aluminum foil and then the lid).

8. Bake for 35 minutes until the potatoes are tender, then uncover and cover with parmesan cheese and bake again for an extra 15 minutes.

9. Broil for 5 to 7 minutes until some potatoes are a bit brown

10. Enjoy!!!Caramelized Onion Gnocchi

Sometimes we just cook things the way we have seen or eaten all the time. Usually we don't go to Italian restaurants as is hard to find a good one and the ones for the commons, like me, just offer a very simple menu. All my life I have eaten and cooked gnocchi with tomato sauce, meat sauce or cream and mushrooms but that is all.

Gnocchi and I have a long history, though. It was a celebration dish at my home when I was a child. It was the main dish for New Year's and the woman who claimed to be my mother always put a small coin under each plate for luck. That was neat I have to admit (then she always took the coin back because she was sort of Scottish that way). I love gnocchi and I can't imagine who wouldn't. When I have the time I prepare mine from scratch but the ones from the Italian shop (Renzullo's !) are great.

The other day I was reading one of my Italian cooking books and I discover this recipe and I decided to try it. It is so easy to cook and the end result is nothing but fantastic. It is a heart warming dish, for those gloomy gray Fall days. If you are not counting calories this is a great dish to prepare, otherwise just substitute the gnocchi for rice cakes, the butter and olive oil for nothing and the cheese with cottage cheese.

Fortunately the current wife loves to eat so this was a sure pleaser. The only problem is that we ate it so fast that I forgot to take the picture, so I resourced to Google for one -sorry-. 



Caramelized Onion Gnocchi

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes   Makes 4 servings


Ingredients


1 Pound gnocchi 

3 Tbsp olive oil

3 Tbsp butter

1 Large onion, chopped

4 Tsp minced garlic

2 Cups cheddar cheese, grated


Cooking Instructions
  • Heat butter and oil in large frying pan. 
  • Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes, until brown and caramelized. If the edges start to get too much color, just add a little water and stir it up. 
  • Cook the gnocchi and remove 1/4 cup of cooking liquid before draining. Add it to the pan of onions. 
  • Add the drained gnocchi and the cheese and toss to combine.



  • Enjoy!

  • * Not my picture… we ate it faster than the click of a camera !

Avocado and Prawn Linguine (Linguine all'Avocado e Gamberetti)


This is the thing: I can't resist sales and more so if they have something I really like on sale. In this case on the weekend I went with the current wife to do some grocery shopping -advise to all of you guys: always feed the wife before going grocery shopping otherwise you end buying twice as much as you planned) and they had avocados and mangoes on sale. I just couldn't resist.

The current wife loves avocados as much as bread, milk, chocolate, food, junk food, pop, ice cream..... so is easy to imagine that a bag of avocados won't last long at my place. I always ask if she wants a tortilla when eating Mexican and she always answers: "is there any avocado?" if the answer is yes, then she does and if the answer is no then she still wants some but without the happy-happy face.

Also I listen  and pay attention to my readers, more so if they are whiners and complainers, like the pseudo-cousin I have. So here, a fast and tremendously tasty meal in... 20 minutes (for you pseudo-cousin will take an hour by the time you translate this, but we still love you).

Honestly this is a fantastic meal. Easy to make and so (SO) delicious. Try and see. It can't get better than this. If you have a restaurant this is a great recipe to get some extra cash as the special of the day (prawn + avocado = $$$$ in a restaurant!...hmmmm...), now if you actually name it the original Italian name then it will be $$$$$$$$$$$. Ha!


Avocado and Prawn Linguine (Linguine all'Avocado e Gamberetti)

Cooking Time: 20 Minutes   Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

400 g  Linguine pasta or similar

400 g Medium size Prawns (peeled with tails left)


1 1/2 Avocado

2 Tbs Grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Tbsp Lime juice

4 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Garlic Clove finely chopped

1 Fresh Shallot, chopped

- Salt to taste

- Parmesan Cheese at serving time 

Cooking Instructions
  • 1. Cut the avocados in half, remove the core and spoon out the flesh and put it in a mixer of food processor (I use a small food processor). Add the parmesan cheese (the 2 Tbsp..full not just exactly though) and mix until smooth -about a minute-

  • 2. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix again until incorporated and creamy, then add the lime juice. Add salt to taste and reserve.

  • 3. Bring to a boil a large pot and add salt and a bit of olive oil (I don’t do this but “some people” do…I don’t see the point but is up to you). Once is boiling add the pasta so we cook it while we prepare the prawns.

  • 4. In a medium size frying pan warm up between 2 and 4 tablespoons of olive oil -depends on the size of your frying pan…small use 2, big use 4). Add the chopped garlic and stir for about a minute, until starts to look light brown, then add the shallot and mix, then add the prawns and cook. Stir frequently and make sure that all prawns are well cooked to perfection (they turn pink). Reserve

  • 5. By now the pasta should be ready…drain it perfectly and mix it with the avocado mix and with the warm prawn-shallot mix. Fold until all is incorporated and serve immediately.

  • 6. Once is served each individual can add as much or as little grated parmesan cheese on top and…

  • 7. Enjoy !
Elizabeth Taylor's Fettuccine with Seafood and Caviar

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes   Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

2 Tbsp Unsalted butter

1/2 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 lb Scallops

2 Cups Heavy Cream

1 lb Fettuccine (preferably fresh)

1 oz (30 g) Caviar (Beluga anyone?)

Cooking Instructions

1. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over moderately high heat and add the shrimp and toss it until pink (about 2 minutes…tops!).

2. Add the scallops and cook for 1 minute per side. Pour in the cream and partially cover the skillet. Cook for about 3 minutes until the shrimp are a bit firm.

3. Using a slotted spoon remove the shrimp and the scallops and cover them with foil to keep them warm. Reserve.

4.  Reduce the cream over high heat by half and then return the shrimp and the scallops. Reserve.

5. Cook the pasta (follow the manufacturer’s instructions or cook for about 2 minutes if handmade). Gently reheat the cream with the scallops and shrimp.

6. Drain the pasta and place it in a pre-warmed mixing bowl. Add the cream sauce and the caviar and toss gently to blend. Season if necessary (I don’t think it needs more seasoning…).

7. Serve at once and enjoy!



Spaghetti with Cherry Tomato Sauce

I was watching the other day with the current wife a new Netflix show called Chef's Table and I was watching Massimo Bottura's episode. Watching this episode confirmed two things: one...I can't afford to eat an any of the restaurants featured in the show and... I'm not ready to go full blast to spend what I don't have and eat at any of these restaurants as they are more expensive than training a new wife.

Based on that I decided that it was about time to prepare another fresh hand made pasta dish. I do love hand made pasta and I am convinced that there is nothing like it. It is a labor intensive process but with the help of my Cousinart attachment for pasta making and some patience, I just went for it. This time I tried Mario Batali's recipe for the pasta (and please don't tell me that is soooooo easy to make home made pasta and that one doesn't need a recipe because I just don't believe so). It was an egg pasta recipe and yielded enough for two occasions.

The Cherry Tomato Sauce is from a book I really like called Donna Hay Instant Cook (even though I did the pasta and I still don't qualify as a cook... ). The end result is absolutely fantastic, honest. You should try it even if you go and buy store bough pasta. You will feel that eating this pasta is like watching leaves fall in Autumn. Is that good.

Home made pasta is something close to my heart. The woman who claimed to be my mother (remember...no father as I was conceived by an Alien abduction event or something like that). That woman used to slave herself almost all Sundays to have for dinner my favorite aunt (actually my only aunt) and her companion, a super nice guy who worked in TV doing a show with a mouse... for a living -fact-. Those evenings were fantastic. I was sent to the "Club" (a Christian Priest Factory called Vanguardia in the Colonia Roma) while she was the official Chef. Dinner was always an entree, some sort of pasta and... dessert. Dinner was always fun and after dessert I was sent back to the Vanguardia place to watch a two-for-one movie show that included "almost just released" movies like Ben-Hur, The Great Train Robbery -the 1903 one- or Santo vs Las Momias... the Mexican twist to horror movies.

I did not became a priest (but it did cross my mind and it was motive of long chats with my mom who saw me as the next Pope), nor a Chef... but I manage to learn how to cook...today Spaghetti with Cherry Tomato Sauce... imagine.


Spaghetti with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Cooking Time: 20 Minutes*      Makes 4 servings
Ingredients

For the Hand Made Pasta*:

3 1/2 Cups Sifted all purpose flour


5 eggs room temperature

1 Tbsp Water

…or enough store bought pasta for 4 people

I always do twice hand made pasta as needed because I keep half of it (after drying it so i can eat fresh pasta next time without the labor)

For the Sauce:

1 Tbsp Butter

500 g Cherry tomatoes (super fresh), halved

1/2 Tsp Sugar

2 Tbsp Olive oil

2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed

1/3 Cup Basil leaves (fresh)… a bit chopped (big pieces)


Before Serving:

— Fresh Parmesan Cheese grated (tons is good)


Cooking Instructions:

1. In your mixer bowl combine the sifted flour and the eggs and mix it at speed number 2 until combined. You might need 1 tablespoon of water to make it manageable (or two…) . You will get a sticky dough that is ready to be kneaded.

2. Flour a clean surface and start kneading the dough, using primarily your hands. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, set it aside and scrape the work surface so we don’t have any bits of dry dough.

3. Lightly flour the surface and continue kneading for 10 minutes, dusting with flour when necessary. The dough should be elastic and a bit (just a bit) sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest -room temperature- for 30 minutes.

5. Once the time has passed, start rolling the pasta according to your own pasta maker’s instructions (there are some manual, some electric and some people use the II Century system and do it all the way by hand… your choice). 

6. While the pasta is resting, put water to boil in a large bowl. This will be where we cook the actual pasta. Some people like to add salt and some oil to the water… I don’t but it is up to you.  Keep the water boiling while we do the sauce.

To cook the Sauce: 


Place a large frying pan over high heat, add the butter and the tomatoes, making sure that the cut side of the tomatoes is the one touching the pan surface. Cook for exactly 4 minutes. Do not add salt!!!!!!

2. Put the pasta to boil. It should take about 5 minutes or less to be ready (home made pasta cooks way faster than store bought). Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t overcook.

3. By now the tomatoes are golden, so you can jus quickly stir for a minute or so and add the olive oil, garlic and the basil. Stir to combine.

Putting all together:

The pasta should be ready and drained. Add the pasta to our frying pan where we have the sauce and
toast to coat.

2. Serve and top with tones of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.


3. Enjoy!!I have to admit it... the current wife and I don't eat that much seafood, not because we don't like it but that fish and seafood must be eaten the day you buy them (unless you are eating from frozen in which case please stop reading and visit the recipe section on Costco dot com).

This is a fantastic and easy recipe to make and for sure a people pleaser. The most important part are the mussels, of course. This time I was the one who had the craving. First I wanted to bake some fresh French bread and then I was thinking what could be great with fresh baked bread and the mussels came to mind. After leaving the bread dough rising I went to the Mussel store -Musselry- and bough the mussels and the fresh parsley. Then I came back home and found the current wife trying to eat the bread's dough. After an hour of negotiations and some cookies as bribe... she left the dough alone. 

I got this recipe from one of my William Sonoma's cook books and modified it a bit to adjust to my liking. Honestly is so easy to prepare and when you eat it you just feel you are in heaven. The fresh baked bread and the aromatic mussels are absolutely fantastic.

The wife liked them quite a bit and eat also the shells... I don't recommend doing this but the wife is something special. The next day I had some leftovers and I prepared some pasta and made a whole new dish...which we ate with the leftover bread. Try it and, if I'm not right by saying that this is a fantastic dish...then that just confirms that not everybody is right. Consider your options as I'm never wrong...

Mussels Steamed in White Wine Sauce

 Cooking Time: 20 Minutes   Makes 3 servings

Ingredients

2 1/2 lb. Mussels perfectly scrubbed and with no beard 

3 Shallots minced

2 Tbsp. Flat leaf parsley finely chopped

1/2 Bay leaf

1 1/2 Cup Dry White wine

3 Tbsp. Unsalted butter



Cooking Instructions

1. In a 3 quart casserole over medium-high heat combine the wine, shallots, butter, the bay leaf and 1 tablespoon of the parsley.

2. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until broth is aromatic (5 minutes or so)

3. Add the mussels (you must discard the ones that don’t close to a touch) and cover the casserole tightly and steam the mussels for 5 minutes shaking occasionally to cook them evenly.

4. Add a bit more wine (about 1/4 of a cup or so) if you see that the mussel’s broth is not aromatic enough -I do this always-

5. To serve, spoon the mussels into large soup bowls, ladle some of the broth over them and sprinkle the remaining parsley. 

6. Serve immediately and slice some fresh baguette slices for dipping in the broth.

7. Enjoy!


** If you have leftovers, don’t worry. Allow the mussels to cool and put them in the fridge. Next day do some pasta and warm the mussels on a pan adding just a bit of water and wine. The leftovers are fantastic! (please don’t even think of adding parmesan to your pasta… I will find you and hit you with my wooden spoon….)


Mustard Bourbon Salmon

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes   Makes 6 servings
Ingredients


1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1/4 Cup Dijon Mustard

6 Boneless salmon fillets

1/2 Cup Bourbon 

1/4 Cup Lime juice

2 Garlic cloves minced

Procedure

1. Preheat the oven’s broiler, place the rack in the second rack holder -the second from the bottom up- and prepare a broiler pan (one that can take high heat) with some olive oil.


2. Mix together the mustard with the brown sugar and the lime juice until incorporated, then add the minced garlic and mix again (I crush a bit mine so one doesn’t have to bite garlic).

3. When the oven is ready, place the salmon, skin down in the broiler pan.

4. Add to our mustard-sugar mix the bourbon and mix until incorporated, then spoon the mixture on top of the salmon fillets.

5. Cook for about 10 minutes (mine is perfect at 10 minutes…but it depends on your oven) and just check it at the 10 minutes…the salon should flake easily. Don’t over-bake it!!!, nobody likes dry salmon.

6. Serve it with some wild rice or mash potatoes or some steam veggies… your choice. Enjoy!




Crispy Cast Iron Chicken 


Cooking Time: 2 Hours   Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

For the Chicken part:
2 Deboned skin on chicken breasts
2 Slices of good bacon (a bit thick)

1 Lemon
Rosemary (fresh if possible)
Kosher Salt

For the Side Veggies:
4 Large Carrots -cut in big pieces-
4 Medium Potatoes -quartered-
1/2 Cup of Cream 
1 Tbsp. Butter
-Fresh Tarragon

For the Sauce:
1 Cup of Berries (gooseberries work best!)
1 Lemon (juice and zest)
1 Tbsp. Apple Vinegar
1/2 Cup Sugar

Cooking Instructions

1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat fry the two pieces of bacon until near smoking. If you don't have a Dutch oven you can use an oven pan (large)...and if you don't have an oven pan...change recipe.
 2. Preheat the oven at 375 ˚F.
3. While the bacon is frying, season the chicken breasts with the rosemary and salt, both sides. 
4.  Place chicken skin down into the hot pan and let it brown a little.
5. Halve the lemon and place the two halves beside the chicken in the pan, flesh down.
6. Turn the chicken once to brown a little the other side and then turn it so the skin side is facing up.
7. Place in the oven and let it cook for about 45 minutes to an hour (check the meat temperature with a thermometer).

          While waiting for our chicken to cook,  instead of start drinking the wine, we start preparing the veggies:

8. Place the carrots in big pieces in a deep pan with enough water to cover.
9. Bring it to a boil and then add the butter and the tarragon.
10. Let simmer until carrots are fork tender and water has reduced to 3/4 approx.
11. After 1o minutes add the quartered potatoes and keep simmering.
12. When the potatoes are semi-soft (we don’t want them too soft!) add the cream, and, if necessary, season a bit more. Simmer until reduced to a creamy texture.

 Now, the last step, the sauce:

13. Bring the berries, sugar, lemon juice and zest and vinegar to a boil in a sauce pan with one cup of water.
14. Simmer until sugar dissolves and berries become soft, breaking their skins. I usually add a bit of red wine to give it a kick, but this is optional.
15. When the sauce is a bit thick, then is ready.
16. By now the chicken should be ready, so, I recommend to bring the chicken to the table, dutch oven and all (just remember that the Dutch oven is really hot, so use oven mittens, otherwise you will end in the hospital eating God knows what -been there done that-), and in two other serving plates bring the creamy veggies and the berry sauce. Amazing dish!

16. Enjoy!

** The photo is not mine... it's Emily Harri's. Every time I cook this dish, by the time I remember that I need a picture... it's too late...gone. I will update next time I cook this dish.



Cebiche with Mango


When the sun decides to stay with us for a while, like in Spring and Summer, the first dish I want to cook is Cebiche. 

Cebiche is one of those dishes that can be combined pretty much with anything that has come from the sea. There is Cebiche with fish, with lobster, with oysters and clams... the combinations are endless...

One of my favorite Cebiche is the one with one of my favorite fruits: mango. The contrast of sweetness from the mango and the  salsa is just delicious. When is time to buy prawns... I cook Cebiche. Also I do a raw Spotted Prawn Cebiche that is out of this world. I don't eat spicy food so I don't add any Serrano peppers, but most people do... feel free to have your muy macho moment and go crazy. You can always ask for the day off next day.

Cebiche's  loyal companion are saltine crackers. You really can't have Cebiche and not have saline crackers. It just works like a charm.

Finally PLEASE don't add any salt nor black pepper: you will ruin it. It really doesn't need it 



Cebiche with Mango


Cooking Time: 20 Minutes   Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

1 lb. Prawns, fresh and peeled

2 Medium Mangos

1/2 Medium Onion, diced small

1 Large fresh Tomato

1/2 Cup Cilantro, fresh and chopped

1 Cup Ketchup

2 Large Limes

1 Serrano pepper, chopped (optional)



Cooking Instructions

1. Put half a cup of ice (or more) in a medium bowl and add cold water. Reserve.



2. Put to boil water in a medium pot. Keep warm and reserve  

3. Wash thoroughly  the prawns but don’t peel the skin just yet. Once clean put them into the boiling water and let them cook for 4 minutes -no more!-, then remove them immediately, discard the warm water and put the prawns into the iced water to cool them. Leave them there for now.

4. Cut the mangoes in small cubes (about 1/2”) and reserve.

5. Dice finely the onion and reserve

6. Dice the tomato in big pieces, about 3/4” (approx.) and reserve

7. Chop finely the cilantro and reserve.

8. OPTIONAL (I don’t do it) Chop the Serrano pepper and reserve.

9. In a separate bowl mix the ketchup with the lime juice until incorporated. Reserve.

10. Now peel the prawns and put them in a large bowl and add the mangoes, onion, cilantro and tomato (and the Serrano pepper if you like your cebiche hot). Mix softly with a wooden spoon -as we don’t want to disintegrate any of the ingredients-

11. Serve immediately with saltine crackers, as the key to a good cebiche is freshness


12.EnjoyI like to cook, no doubt, but I am just a guy cooking not a Chef nor a Cook... just me...but I am curios and I like to read recipe after recipe until I find something that would appeal to me. This recipe is an adaptation of Nigel Slater's (now...THAT IS A CHEF). Yes, its true: I did not invented casserole.

Back to this recipe: this is a wonderful dish for clod and crummy days. It spells HOME. Imagine, family, friends, home made bread, good wine and...a fabulous casserole. Life is good.

Beef and Ale Casserole

Cooking Time: 40 Minutes   Makes 6 servings


Ingredients

750 g stewing beef

1 Tbsp Butter

1 Tsp Kosher salt

2 Tbsp (full) if flour

2 340 ml bottles of beer* 

2 Onions sliced

2 or 3 Thyme sprigs

3 Bay Leaves

1 Tbsp Red currant jelly

*(your choice.Some people swear that Guinness is the only one…I don’t use that one)


Cooking Instructions


1. Preheat oven t0 350˚F  (180˚C)

2. Cut your beef into large pieces (I use beef tenderloin…when is on sale)

3. In a Dutch Oven, medium-high, melt the butter and brown your beef and add the salt. Don’t worry about that nasty looking crust in the oven…we want it)

4. Once the beef is brown in some areas we are going to remove it and put aside, leaving the juices in the casserole. 

 5. Add the sliced onions and stir. If you feel that the mix is too dry, then add a bit of more butter and if the beef has released lots  of juice, then drain the juice, just let enough to cover the bottom of the Dutch Oven.

5. Mix the flour. Stir. You should have a thick sauce, a bit thicker than apple sauce). If you need more flour, just add it bit by bit (otherwise we will have a cake!). We want a  mix with no lumps. 

6. Add the bay leaves and the thyme

7. The fun part: we are going to add the beer! (I usually use 3 bottles, two for the casserole and one for me while I cook). Stir.

8. Add the beef and the rest of the juices and place it in the oven, lid closed, for at least one hour  and a half… should be enough to get a tender beef, but here is the tricky part: you want the meat to be soft but not disintegrating so with a fork check for softness. When your beef is too tender…less time, but if the beef is not tender we need more time…maximum another 40 minutes, otherwise the sauce will get sour. When ready remove it from the oven and let it seat, lid open.

9. Stir in the red currant jelly (if you don’t have it use raspberry, sour cherry jam or blueberry jelly…something that will add a kick, so sweet jelly is not an option).

10. Now… to serve: you can use as a side dish mashed potatoes, white or brown rice or noodles. Your choice.

11. Enjoy!